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Tropical Storm Zeta Leaves Trail Of Devastation In Metro Atlanta

ATLANTA, Ga. (CW69 News at 10) -- Tropical Storm Zeta left a trail of damage and devastation around Metro Atlanta Thursday morning, claiming several lives, including a Gwinnett County couple in their twenties.

"The caller to 911 was the victim's brother. They said he was not able to reach his brother. He came to the location, discovered the tree on the house," said Captain Tommy Rutledge, a public information officer with the Gwinnett County Fire Department.

Rutledge says the couple was in bed when a massive hardwood tree crashed through their bedroom at their homes on Garner Street in Buford. Emergency crews arrived and pronounced them dead at the scene. Neighbors are in shock. "It's scary how quick it can happen," said Ahban Hankin, who lives next door. "It puts me on edge a little bit, you know. You never know when anything could happen.

Authorities say the same thing happened to a 22-year-old Cherokee County man who died this morning. In the midst of tragedy, clean up efforts started in several communities, with crews repairing downed power lines and several companies removing downed trees. As of the afternoon, Georgia Power showed thousands of Metro Atlanta residents were still without power.

Leslie Smith, a operations maintenance manager for Trantor Realty, said he's thankful the tenants living at one of their DeKalb County properties are safe, after a massive tree fell in their yard. "One thing about it, were all here to help each other as a big community, so we're getting the job done," Smith said.

"I definitely didn't think it was gonna be this much damage," said Brandy Horne. She and her boyfriend Joshua White reflected on the damage and the people whom the storm victims left behind. "Prayers go out to the family and I hope you all definitely keep your head up," White said.

Officials say it could take at least another day to restore power to all of the areas.

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